Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Sunshine lights our morning room,
enhancing colors, muted
after noon.

Across the street, facing west,
her house, next in line, for the October sun
to warm its roof.
By eight a toe-hold gained,
then a northward march
across the expanse of flat
frosted white.

One cup of coffee
and today’s work is done.
Her roof, returned to shingle tint.
Our room, again in shade.
The sun, arcing on,
risks being less
without one man’s regard.

Oct. 26, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2018


October’s winds, blowing in
Another winter

Practice now with leaves
Challenge the snow later

Stir me up and get me out

Snow blower and shovels ready?
    Lord help me prepare
    Lord, stow it where?
Paint or caulk?
    Lord, help me prepare
Windows, doors, weather stripping?
    Lord, help me secure
Snow tires?
    Lord, help me prepare

Gutters checked?
    Lord, keep them clear
Plants to bring in
     Lord, they’ll need some care

Windshield scraper, I left where?
    Lord, help me remember
The heated bird bath?
    Lord, it will soon be December
Firewood ordered?
    Lord, help me remember
Hoses put away?
    Lord, I could have done that in September


Lacy locust leaves
Yellow October blizzard
Expectations swirl

DRK 10/19/15

Monday, July 30, 2018


I first encountered him
And you may have too
On a visit to Bertie Wooster's gentleman's club
Where a certain esteem is assigned
To being

"The Oldest Member"

Wodehouse's words, of course, were fiction
Even Jeeves, Bertie's  valet
But, to me, the stories were real

My mother, our grand matriarch
Held court with her grandchildren 
And great grandchildren
For the last thirty of her 97 years

Her brother, ten years her junior
Outlived his generation
And was celebrated until he passed at 95

We loved it when they joined our events
Irreplaceable sources of family lore

 Regrettably, the inevitable generational loss
So much mine-able ore
Left untapped

 A few gems I keep
Deep where my psyche tweaks 
Me and what I do

Discussions of "getting old" were taboo
Walking and aerobics were pursued
As was mom's curiosity about our lives as teens
Keeping us at the dinner table
Long after dad had headed to the TV

Her brother read the New York Times
Saw the latest Broadway shows
And loved hosting our visits
To The Big Apple

They may have acquired their persistent youth 
From their mother
Who, it was said, loved a good party
And died in her sleep
After a long day of celebrating
One of her grandson's graduations

With her boots on, so to speak

Nor can I forget the teasing

     Our advanced degrees
     Did they really provide us with daily life expertise?

On my father's side it was "family"
When it mattered the most
We could depend on their presence

How sad to lose those uncles and aunts
The ones who would play catch with me as a kid
Or nudge me at Thanksgiving  
     "More bird?"

They communicated, at least  to me
A good humored approach to life
With a certain elan
Now I sense from the members of my clan
Unaccustomed civility and patience
     "Take your time"
     "Here, let me help with that"
     "How you doing, young man?
I wonder what I convey
Possibly it will show up
When I read my obituary
In the meantime
To our young
Aging out and due to step up

Excuse me
If I show some concern
About ceding this position

To take my place

     "The oldest member"

You'll have to wait your turn


Friday, June 29, 2018


Mama, I left my cap
We have to go back
No!  Don’t turn here!

Melt down

Cool mom

Daddy!  Daddy!
Come here!
            What is it?
Just come here!
            Honey, daddy just got home
            Let him relax a minute
No!  No!

Cool daddy

Meme!  Papa!  Let me carry your bags
Cool kid

Ninety degree dusty T-ball
At the park
Won again
Team picture then race for the snacks

Hot team

Ninety-five at Wrigleyville

Hot afternoon
Hot Cubs

Cool moments

Security lady with spritzer
            Take off your glasses
Fifth inning third baseline shade
Meme!  Papa!  Let me get the door

Dancing, tumbling
Sequined makeup
Hot chick
Big recital

Same chick teaching the youngest 
Paying off
Banking it

Hot prospect

31st Street Beach
Not a cloud in the sky
Near nineties
Lake front cooled
Beautiful beach with playground

Hot ideas for the future

Mikeski:  Please pass the hot sauce

Really cool at the hockey game

6/9/17 –6/13/17

Sunday, June 24, 2018



Friendly, finicky,
perched on a rail --
ate its keeper’s fish
but not his shrimp --
and now its snout’s a-drip
with drool.

Pet-able by regulars
who know the drill,
it did not encourage me,
eyeing, sidling, inching away.

Nothing personal.
It’s probably natural
for Florida pelicans
to shun
touristy one-night


. . . seemed bored.

Cruised the beach
to catch the show --

and surfers on boards --

unaware of the cow
just yards

Tail and head surfacing,
its shadow drifted under the pier
and continued south.


Interrupted at Disney’s water park
by a two hour rain delay.
Insult compounded injury --
getting wet outside the pool.
Less than five innings played,
so had to stay.


From the back,
just a strap
or two
tucked from view.
No curvy fannies, just butts.
Hands down, one leg up.
Down, dogs!
An imagination bust.


The roll was taken from the porch,
    in whispers,
of those who came to our backyard vespers.

Neighborhood redbirds
and red breasts arrived
with the slipping evening light
to claim their first-come, first-served
roosting rights.

An evening duel ensued
o’er who would have
the last bird words.

The redbirds, last at the feeder,
    chirped it shut for the night,
but couldn’t out-wait
the robins’
slow, drawn out antiphons,
    warbling down from the trees,
    trailing silence through the leaves.

These psalm-like prayers
prompted  "Amens"
from those below
not too busy to care
    who sang when
        or if the last solar lantern
            came on before ten.

Dennis R. Keefe, 9/30/12